Take it or leave it?

September 25, 2017

Hey there! Hope your weekend was wonderful! I think we visited the new house about four times...and nothing was even happening. I just like to be there. 😂 I mean, I did measure for a few things, so we did have a reason to be there...most of the time.

Because this whole moving thing wasn't planned and went so fast, and because we ended up buying a spec home and finishing it, I had to make some quick decisions on what to add. There were quite a few things I repeated from the old house and a few we didn't/won't. I always love reading about what people love in their homes so I thought I would share them with you!

What we're keeping:

The wood and white stairs. I tore the carpet off of our old ones and never looked back:
Tearing carpet off wood stairs

And they were an absolute must for me. They changed the way our whole main level looked and felt and I just love them. I did consider just having them install the wood and I was going to stain them...but I knew they'd get filthy in the process. We also mess with our warranty if we do stuff on our own during the build so I didn't want to chance that. 

And because I get asked this every time I mention our stairs -- we have found them to be less slippery than carpet by far. We slid down the carpeted stairs quite a bit, but not these. I'm crossing my fingers the old ones weren't some magical non-slip wood steps and the new ones are the same. ;)
Dark wood steps, white trim

Another item that was an absolute MUST for us was the trash compactor. Ours will be in the island like our old one: 
Window seat in kitchen

It will be next to the sink which makes me super happy. It was really convenient to have it right behind the sink at the old house and I think this will be even better. 

My husband insisted on this when we started the building process with the old house 14 years back -- and I wasn't familiar with them much so just went with it. Now I get it. You can see why we love the trash compactor so much in this post. ALL the heart eyes. 

Another item pictured above will show up in the new kitchen as well...any guesses?:
Butcher block on kitchen island

I've had a wood island countertop for seven years now and it was a priority when we were deciding on what to add to the list. This time it will be a little different because the sink will be in the island, but I think it will be just as beautiful! I used butcher block tons of places in our last house -- I can count five projects just off the top of my head. It doesn't matter if you stain it or leave it oiled, it always adds warmth to a space. 

One more item in the kitchen that I love and had to have again are my tiny hidden storage compartments behind the drawer fronts here: 
Dark gray base cabinets and white uppers

Otherwise known as the tip out tray. They keep clutter off the counter around the sink and are so convenient. I had two and used one for sink/washing stuff and the other for dishwasher tablets. These are under the new sink as well.

Another one that I don't have a photo of, because it's boring, (but awesome!) is the humidifier on our HVAC system. This was another one my husband insisted on and I'm so glad he did. It keeps the house from getting super dry in the winter -- no shocking each other after walking around! And we feel like it helps us health-wise too.

What we're not keeping:

I LOVE the look of a fireplace in a bedroom...love. But we won't have one in a new house. I think we'll survive? 😆
Fireplace in bedroom

I absolutely loved having a warm fire on really cold nights...but 99 percent of the time our room would get too hot to have it on for any extended time. I like our room a little chilly at night so we rarely used it. It was such a lovely idea and again, I loved the look...but it heated the room a little too much. (Even the pilot light would make it warmer!)

The big items we won't be adding are outside. We will be adding a pergola or something similar one day:
Deck with pergola and lights

But I don't want to do a deck. Again, love the look! But I want to simplify our lives a bit and if we can go without the upkeep of wood I'd rather do that. Having a wood deck wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to keep up with -- but we got full sun so it did need to be restained every few years. We had to replace a few of the boards this past summer too. 

This time, I want a HUGE patio. But not a paver patio like before: 
Paver patio with stone fireplace

As beautiful as it is, I'm craving something with less upkeep. Simple, remember? The pavers themselves weren't bad at all...it's the weeds that grow between them (and seeds that land) that you have to keep up with. I WILL miss the pretty moss that grew between the pavers though -- that was one of my favorite things about our backyard!

This time? All concrete. We'll probably do stamped concrete, but I want easy maintenance. All one piece! Whoot! 

Is there something in your house that you would repeat in another home? Of course many of the design changes I made will show up again in the new house too...can't wait to get started! 

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  1. I think it's wonderful that you're keeping the items you love, whether or not they're trendy or not. A home never feels "yours" without designs you truly like!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Are you excited about the sink in the island? That's what we have in our current house and I would never do it again. I find water all over the counter all the time and it drives me crazy. It mostly happens when we are washing dishes and turn the tap and on off with our wet hands to rinse them. Or when we wash our hands. Or when my careless 8yo uses the sink... I get why it was done this way in this house (we didn't reno it this way ourselves), but I would never do it again personally. I really hope you like yours though. Most people who visit think it's a cool idea.

    1. We have a sink in the middle of our island too and I would never do it again either. I would love to have that whole area as a work space rather than divided into to smaller sections. Also, the faucet is so close to the edge of the island, no one can really sit behind it.

    2. It wasn't my first choice, but it is ideal in our kitchen layout. Our island is going to be quite large so I'm not worried about it taking up tons of space. We'll have to see!

  3. I love how we put 5 windows in a row in our kitchen. It lets so much natural light in and a wonderful view of the horse pasture. The one thing I wished we had in our current home is more daylight windows in the basement. I love seeing Parade of Homes homes on tours and just love how the basement feels like an 1st floor room. I also wish we had better air conditioning on the 2nd floor as it does get warm up there and it's hard to cool even with central air. I sometimes wish we would have planted different trees outside too. I'm excited to watch yours getting built. We can't rebuild anytime soon because of our horse farm.

  4. Definitely go with a stamped concrete patio! We love ours! I have been following you for a couple years now, and it has been so fun to hear about the new house process. I can't wait to continue hearing about it and seeing pictures!

  5. I have stamped concrete and hate it. It started looking bad a year after I had it done. Hopefully it was a fluke but I am dying to have it tiled now. Juse something to think about down the road.

  6. Did you keep the microwave in the island? Everyone I know has moved their microwave due to it being too low.

    1. It's not in our new island but I would do it again in a heartbeat! One of the best changes we made in our old house.

  7. Just something I've lived and learned ... I detest stamped concrete!! It is almost as hard to maintain as pavers. Every bit of dirt gets caught in those crevices and the crevices don't weather well. My favourite suggestion , BY FAR, is coloured concrete. It's pretty and impressive, (we did black and it still looks good 10 years later) and SO easy to maintain. x

  8. I agree with the wood and white stairs. Such a classic, timeless look. I would do that again too if I bought another 2 story but honestly if we move again it will be a one story now that our kids are grown and we are getting older.

  9. Hi! Some info about concrete patios for you, we replaced ours two years ago and the way our house is built we can't do a deck, it would be too low to the ground. Anyway, we had a new large slab poured, it wasn't cheap and it started cracking the first winter! They are hairline fractures mostly but a few actual cracks! We've had to saw into the cracks and fill them with some sealant stuff. A pain in the butt and looks ugly. Make sure you talk to the cement company about how they handle cracking, ours did not offer a warranty. We are super disappointed. Best of luck!

  10. The house looks absolutely amazing!

    Amy // www.thenoiseinwonderland.com

  11. I read this post yesterday and had to come back to hear some more comments :) I am all about stamped concrete but after reading some of these comments -- yikes! I've had my plain concrete driveway crack :( We had a stamped driveway when we lived in OH and I *loved* the look of it -- everyone thought it was a brick driveway and walkway -- we just had to paint it every few years. Now that I think about it I wonder if it was stamped blacktop? Hmmmm. . .what about big slate tiles instead? Probably pricey. . .
    I love, love your stairs and definitely want to save up to do ours just like yours. . .don't know if we'll ever get there (a roof and heating/air system probably come first since what we have is "ok") so glad that you are able to begin with what you want :) It is fun following along with this move and your design decisions!

  12. Just to add to the patio commentary- we replaced an old slab of concrete on our original patio and went with exposed aggregate with a stained border. I absolutely LOVE it! It doesn't fade like some of the stained/stamped concrete patios do that I have seen and is a timeless design. We get so many compliments on it and it is so easy to maintain. Just my two cents:)

  13. Have always loved your stairs and am envious of your wood island so glad to see they will be repeating... I repeated my kitchen sink (D Shape) and faucet (Hansgrohe) for old house when I updated the 1952 kitchen in current house So fun about the compactor- I always thought I would want one too, but these days with compost and recycling our famil, one adult and two teen boys, ends up using a single bag of trash (in a typical kitchen cabinet pull out bin) each week anyway!!! I just put it at the curb each week on morning of pick up - we don't even own a typical trash can to put at the curb ! (which is great because we don't have a garage!)

  14. We have stamped concrete and I wouldn't do it again. We have lower spots and the water stays in it and it looks darker because of the dirt that stays in it too. It also seems to chip easier. I don't know if it is the design or our contractor but we have bits that chip off around the edges of the design.

  15. We have colored concrete and I LOVE the look. However, because concrete does expand and contract, our concrete has cracked in several places. Our concrete does have the concrete joints that allows for expansion, but there are still cracks that have formed in the 6 years of our patio. Some cracks are rather large and can't really be filled in well since the concrete is colored. We seal the concrete every other year (it's not in the sun) to "help" the cracks from becoming any larger and from forming a lot of chips. I would much rather go with the pavers than concrete. Our concrete is surrounded by walls on 3 sides (the house on 2 sides and then a retaining wall on the 3rd side) so that probably has caused some of the cracking.

  16. I loved all the things you did at your old house and cant wait to see more of the new one! When we moved in to our 1975 home 17 years ago there was a raised sandstone patio. When we remodeled the kitchen and backyard we reused the 24"x24" pieces of sandstone to lay a new patio. We laid lines of bricks around the sandstone, framing it and making the patio larger and give it more interest. The best thing we did was to lay all the brick and sandstone down on a concrete base. it has kept all the chipmunks from tunneling under and has not cracked. I wish we had done it on our front patio. And thanks for the tips on the Home Depot soft closers and the Scrub Daddy!

  17. We don't have a fireplace in our home either. worst part about is there's no mantel but it's def not that big of a deal :)
    XO Ellen from Ask Away

  18. We have a stamped concrete patio and LOVE it! It's been almost 14 years since it was poured. We just pressure wash it every year or two and voila it looks new again! We live in Seattle area so the weather is pretty mild, so no problems with cracks, etc! Your new home is looking lovely! So excited for you!!

  19. What a great post Sarah. We have no plans to move anytime soon, but more likely will consider renovations (been in our home 25 years!). I think I could ask myself the same questions when considering what to keep and what to change in our current home.
    Totally understand about the pavers, we have both pavers (an addition we installed) and concrete. I think the stamped concrete is a good happy medium. I really would love to stain our existing concrete (mainly to cover up spray paint overspray :-0 I think with any type of concrete, and even pavers, there is going to be maintenance, settling issues, cracking. It's exposed to the outdoor elements so to be expected. I am one to embrace the flaws and work around them. I don't mind moss growing on it and in between the cracks and so forth.

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  21. Hi Sarah. Your house is going to be gorgeous. One note.....we have a stamped concrete patio & it is not maintenance free. My husband has to put down a sealer/gloss polish to it yearly and by summers end, it starts looking chalky. Several of our friends (one a concrete guy) have stamped concrete and they have painted it. My vote for next time would be concrete (maybe colored?) with saw cuts. Karen


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